Members cry out for saccos dividends

Tuesday June 2 2020

sacco

Now members are frustrated that their cooperatives are unable to bail them out as they face financial challenges due to coronavirus pandemic. PHOTO | FILE  

LEONCE MUVUNYI
By LEONCE MUVUNYI
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The majority of cooperatives across the country are struggling to pay dividends to members due to poor management of members’ savings.

Now members are frustrated that their cooperatives are unable to bail them out as they face financial challenges due to coronavirus pandemic.

A mini-survey by Rwanda Today shows only cooperatives in the agriculture sector have paid dividends while the rest are struggling to pay because they are loss making.

“We normally pay Rwf5, 000 every month as a contribution in our cooperative but we didn’t get anything during this coronavirus period, as our job has been suspended,” Janvier Nsanzimfura, a motorcyclist in Kigali told Rwanda Today.

Rwanda’s Motorcyclists Federation says the cooperatives have no savings as the resources have been used for investment.

Daniel Ngarambe, the president of the motorcyclist Federation said that operators’ contributions largely cover the operation fees of the cooperatives along servicing the loan of the acquired motorcycles to their members.

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“Motorcyclists are currently not getting the bonuses on their contributions because these contributions foot the operation cost including renting the offices, paying salaries of the administrators and their security organ among others” said Mr Ngarambe.

According to the recent figures from the Rwanda Utility Regulations Authority, with over 45, 000 active motorcyclists meeting their monthly obligations, over Rwf225 million credited onto the different cooperative's accounts.

Unlike motorcyclists ‘cooperatives, Rwanda Cooperative Agency (RCA) official figures indicate that only 10 per cent of the country’s cooperatives have been able to caution their members with benefits and bonus on their shares as the COVID19 effects bite.

According to the Rwanda Cooperative Agency, only 1, 104 profit-making cooperatives out of over 10, 025 cooperatives across the country have been able to provide the bonuses and interests to their members on the shares to caution the COVID-19 effects.

Agency figures indicate that around 10 per cent of the cooperatives have given out a dividend payout mounting up to Rwf1.6 billion to around 500, 000 members.

“Most of the cooperatives that have been able to give out the bonus and interest shares are those dealing in agri-business along with the small businesses owned cooperatives,” Prof Jean Bosco Harelimana told Rwanda Today.

“Many cooperatives haven’t been to able to payout bonus and dividends since they have embarked on the managerial reforms, under which they haven’t reached the benefit making stage while others have stricken by poor management,” he added.

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